China, the Philippines to Enhance Relations

China hopes to develop a long-term stable friendship with the Philippines on the basis of good-neighborly cooperation as well as mutual trust and mutual benefit, Chinese President Jiang Zemin said Tuesday afternoon when meeting visiting Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The two presidents exchanged views on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern, and reached a consensus on a number of issues.

The Chinese and Philippine peoples have had a time-honored friendly relationship since the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Jiang said.

Since the two countries established diplomatic relations 26 years ago, Jiang said, they have carried out concrete exchanges and cooperation, which have benefited both peoples.

In order to further enhance bilateral relations with the Philippines in the new century, Jiang proposed that China welcomes various personages from the Philippine government and parliament as well as academic and journalistic circles while keeping continuous visits and contacts by the two countries' leaders.

Jiang also proposed that the two countries deepen their cooperation in trade, agriculture, investment, poverty elimination, information technology, telecommunications, tourism, justice, and fisheries and to crackdown on multinational crime.

As for the disputes remaining between the two countries, Jiang continued, the two sides should calmly and properly deal with these issues, not allowing them to undermine the bilateral friendship and basic interests of the two peoples.

Both developing countries, China and the Philippines extensively share common interests in international and regional affairs, Jiang said.

Under the current world situation, the two sides should strengthen communication and cooperation in international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), he said.

After it steps into the WTO, China will further open its domestic market to worldwide competitors. China would like to see Philippine enterprises invest in China, especially in the western region, Jiang said.

At the same time, Jiang said, the Chinese government will encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

Arroyo said she agrees with Jiang's proposal on enhancing the bilateral relations. She said the Philippines is willing to develop a long-term, healthy and extensive friendship with China.

Arroyo said the bilateral cooperation has great potential and prospects. The Philippines wants to intensify mutual trust between the two countries.

The Philippine president highly values the modernization drive made by the Chinese people. She said that China has become a main force pushing forward world peace and stability.

China's entry into the WTO will not only benefit the world economy but also provide a good opportunity for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, she said.

Xinhua News Agency 10/30/2001)
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